You can solve all the world's problems in a garden”  
                                                             Geoff Lawton
Geoff uses a wider interpretation of the word garden, more akin to it's original meaning of 'enclosure' - for the growing of plants for beauty, food and pleasure.
His version of a garden would include a farm, a restoration project, a food forest as well as the garden as we generally use the term
Geoff Lawton is not the only person to make such bold claims.
Hans Herren ( who has been credited with saving millions of lives by enabling African people to produce the food they need,) declares that
sustainable agriculture,” can not only nourish a world population of some 9 to 10 billion people, but are the only approaches that will be able to do it in the face of climate change, natural resource scarcity, and growing demand challenges. "
 Martin Crawford assures us that a Forest Garden designed for maximum yield can supply the calorific needs of 10 people on one acre
Sepp Holzer says his method of organic farming produces a much higher quality of crops than conventional farming, and at a fraction of the cost and effort.
David Blume  tells us that
On approximately two acres— half of which was on a terraced 35 degree slope—I produced enough food to feed more than 300 people (with a peak of 450 people at one point), 49 weeks a year in my fully organic CSA on the edge of Silicon Valley  ...................  My yields were often 8 times what the USDA claims are possible per square foot.
Olivier De Schutter
"To date, agroecological projects have shown an average crop yield increase of 80% in 57 developing countries, with an average increase of 116% for all African projects, Recent projects conducted in 20 African countries demonstrated a doubling of crop yields over a period of 3-10 years.”
In 1999, 35 million small family plots produced 90% of Russia’s potatoes, 77% of vegetables, 87% of fruits, 59% of meat, 49% of milk “

(This is widely quoted but I cannot find the original source for this.
Can anyone help?)

There is also the Dervais Family who
produce 6000lbs of food annually on one tenth of an acre in an American suburban garden.
( feeding 4 people on 1/10 acre - scale it up to 40 people on one acre!) Very intensive crop growing
I have included this site to show the quite stunning results from as small as 1/10 acre to the large  66 acres at Geoff Lawton's Zaytuna farm

There are many examples of sustainable farming outdoing conventional agriculture in terms of yields. (I will be adding a new post on the concept of yields soon)    Please add to the Comments if you know of any...



Lobma Thundrup
08/06/2013 6:57pm

Thank you for the list. I hadn't known of the family in LA before. They are a shinning example of what can be achieve on little.

Marianne Green
08/06/2013 8:45pm

Yes. And especially relevant to us here in the UK where most people have relatively small gardens


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    Marianne Winfield

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    January 2013
    November 2012